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Sunglass Retailer Hit by Looter During Hurricane Launches Relief Effort




It’s partnering with Costa. An independent Gulf Coast-based sunglass retailer whose Port Orange, FL, store suffered more than $100,000 worth of damage at the hands of a looter during Hurricane Irma has launched a relief campaign to help its fellow storm victims.

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It’s partnering with Costa.

An independent Gulf Coast-based sunglass retailer whose Port Orange, FL, store suffered more than $100,000 worth of damage at the hands of a looter during Hurricane Irma has launched a relief campaign to help its fellow storm victims.

Sunglass World decided the best response to its setback was to lend a hand to others in the community. The “Costa for a Cause” campaign launched jointly with the Costa Del Mar brand will see a portion of the proceeds on every pair of Costa sunnies donated to relief efforts.

“We’ve lost a store for a few months, but so many people out there lost more than we can imagine. We want to do our part to help,” Tony Werden, vice president of sales and marketing at Sunglass World, told INVISION.


Police in Port Orange, FL, say Harold Hall, 34, used a hammer to break merchandise cases and steal sunglasses initially valued at $145,000 from Sunglass World’s store at The Pavilion mall in Volusia County while it was closed due to the storm. The store manager saw the crime unfolding on surveillance video from a remote location and called police, who arrested the looter. Hall was charged with burglary and grand theft, and was being held without bail at Volusia County Jail, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported. The store remains closed.

The idea for the campaign grew out of an earlier plan to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Sunglass World and Costa cosponsor a Labor Day country music festival. At this year’s event, Werden convinced Costa to donate a portion of the sales from their joint booth at the fair to relief efforts for Harvey. “It worked out very well – to the point that we had people come up to the tent to simply make a donation,” Werden told INVISION.

A week later, Irma brought even more destruction, and Sunglass World wasn’t spared. “We felt the right thing to do was continue the fundraising efforts and help the people in our backyard. Since Costa’s headquarters is located close to our Daytona store and they had the same desire to help, we have partnered to help the victims of Hurricane Irma through our Costa for a Cause campaign.”

From the sale of every pair of Costa del Mar sunglasses, $15 will go to the relief effort. Costa has pledged to match Sunglass World dollar for dollar. This campaign covers both online and in-store sales.

Costa plans on having the relief fund set up in the coming days. The campaign could be extended beyond the end of the month if successful, according to Werden.

Sunglass World has a history of helping the community. “We always allow our managers the opportunity to donate to local community fundraising efforts. We are often asked to provide prizes for events such as raffles, silent auction items or sponsorships. Giving back to our community is something that Sunglass World takes pride in,” says Werden.


Werden now thinks that initial damage estimate for the Port Orange store was low. “Now that we have been able to get into the location, there was quite a bit more property damage than we originally anticipated from just looking at the security cameras,” he told INVISION. This is on top of the loss to the chain’s business caused by store closures throughout the region. Sunglass World’s stores from Destin, FL, back to the east coast were closed for at least a day, some for several.

The only actual damage was that done by the Port Orange burglar, however. That store remains closed for the foreseeable future.

“Unfortunately, our Port Orange location is unable to open until after the proper repairs are completed and replacement shipments for the inventory have been received. As you can imagine, most contractors and supplies are likely to be in high demand with the damage done to the local area. It is really hard to estimate when this location will be back open,” Werden says.

Costa and Sunglass World are longtime sales partners. “Port Orange was one of the first locations to have the Costa ‘Store in a Store’ concept brought to life. This has led to three of our current locations adopting the concept, with one store being opened that is primarily dedicated to Costa sunglasses, RX eyewear and apparel,” the executive says.

Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean and southeastern U.S. in mid-September, doing an estimated $63 billion in damage and claiming 102 lives including 58 in the U.S. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the business community had donated nearly $225 million to relief efforts for victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma as of Friday, Reuters reported.




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